The evolution of the periodic system started over 200 years ago. Chemists contributed to its development by continuously altering, disputing, and revising this promising project, which made it a great chart that we use today in scientific studies and educational purposes. However, did you know that these people used descriptive research to create this table? Scientists were able to categorize the elements in the periodic table by describing the characteristics of each element. And with the help of their knowledge in electrons, protons, and neutrons, they were able to arrange the fundamental elements according to what it is today.
Descriptive research is a research methodology you can use to describe the characteristics of the variables that you are studying, such as events, organizations, individuals, etc. This type of research answers explicitly the “what” question instead of the “how,” “why,” and “when” questions. Through this type of research, you can obtain information about the current situation of a phenomenon but not the reason for its state.
While descriptive research aims to describe a phenomenon, analytical research intends to understand it deeply. Since the descriptive study only aims to describe its characteristics, it has no control over the affecting determinants of the variables, unlike analytical research, which can work on the factors that surround the variables.
To know more about how descriptive research works in the real world, refer to the following downloadable examples.
We understand that carrying out descriptive research for the first time can be difficult. That is why we included the following instructions. Whether you are conducting research for a psychology-related topic or exploring a certain event for your marketing strategy, this section will help you accomplish your project correctly.
When looking for a descriptive research problem, make sure that it answers the “what.” To make your research beneficial to society, choose a subject that will reveal hidden issues or provide solutions to specific problems. And if it sounds difficult, worry not! That should be the fun part of carrying out a research project.
Gather more information about the research problem you have chosen by conducting preliminary research or reviewing the literature relating to it. In this process, check for the existing studies about your research and determine the information gap between your study and the existing ones. Use this information to strengthen the reason why you have to conduct the investigation. You can also modify your research problem based on this information difference.
Data gathering tools such as questionnaires and interviews are the tools that you will use to gather the necessary information to come up with the research conclusion. Primary data collection is the most common tool that descriptive researchers use. This type of research may involve using qualitative or quantitative research methods or both. Remember that there is no such thing as a perfect technique in data gathering. It is a skill that you have to master by experience.
Target population and samples are a group, an individual, or an event you will analyze. Before you start collecting the needed information, you have to determine its sources.
Since you already reached this step, it is safe to assume that you have identified the appropriate tools to utilize in collecting the data from your target population. In this step, you need to create a detailed step-by-step instruction on how you will gather and analyze the information to reach a particular conclusion.
In this stage, you will materialize the plan you came up with during the previous steps. Once you complete the data collection process, you have to analyze it. However, data analysis can be messy if you don’t know what you are doing. Thus, it would help if you will use graphical representation tools such as diagrams and graphs to simplify this process. These data visualization tools enable you to effectively communicate the results to those who will read your research paper.
After the proper interpretation of the data you have collected, it will be easier for you to come up with a conclusion for your research. State your conclusion and share the data with your audience.
Descriptive research, despite its limitations, has its unique purposes. You should realize that these limitations ensure that your project focuses on its scope. As a result, your research project will arrive at the correct conclusion on time.